The 3 tools all homeowners need, according to TikTok’s ‘American Contractor’

John Dye over multi-color background
John Dye over multi-color background

Owning a home is a hefty responsibility that often requires a variety of maintenance and repair projects, whether fixing a leak or renovating a bathroom.

With the spring season in full swing and summer just around the corner, more people are checking off their to-do lists and getting their homes and apartments into tip-top shape for hosting.

For John Dye, also known as the “American Contractor” on TikTok, having a set of tools on hand is essential. Dye’s contracting videos frequently go viral. Many of his clips provide tips and tricks for ordinary people, whether they need to patch up their roofs, renovate their garages, or beautify their gardens.

In one of his popular posts, Dye took his followers on a shopping trip and revealed exactly what “basic” tools all homeowners should have on hand. His roundup of essentials was tailored to meet the needs of those with little experience working with tools — they’re simple, straightforward, affordable, and even available on Amazon.

“Compared to renters, homeowners can’t rely on a landlord to fix issues; they need the skills and tools to handle standard maintenance. This skill set can save significant money on professional fees,” Dye told The Post in an exclusive interview.

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The professional didn’t waste any time while shooting his video. “Let’s see what tools every homeowner should have for their house,” Dye said while heading to the store.

His first stop was the wrench section. As a seasoned expert, Dye has formed some strong opinions on what sort of wrench works best.

“You’ve got to have some good Allen wrenches,” he said, picking up a set of three shaped like folding keys. Dye said he prefers the multi-tool wrenches, which offer a variety of key sizes. “Whatever size you need, just closes right up and you always have these and never lose them.”

John Dye showing his selection for wrenches John Dye
John Dye showing his selection for wrenches John Dye

In addition to keeping a wrench around the house, Dye told his followers to look for a suitable flashlight. Homeowners should always be prepared to work under different weather and light conditions.

“You definitely should have a good flashlight in the house,” noted Dye. “I tend to like something like this,” he explained, picking up a model that offers both a flood and a spotlight. “So when you twist the grip, it’ll expand the light or make it smaller.”

The adjustable focus and the ability to switch between a flood and beam light ensures clearer vision under a variety of surroundings.

John Dye picking out a flashlight John Dye
John Dye picking out a flashlight John Dye

For Dye’s final recommendation, the contractor emphasized the importance of finding a “good, solid hammer.”

Crescent makes a great hammer,” shared Dye, who added that homeowners should pay close attention to the weight of the tool before purchasing. “This is a 16-ounce so it’s not super heavy, there are some that are 19, 20, 21-ounce hammers.”

While skilled contractors may invest in something heavier, Dye suggested that amateurs stick with a hammer on the lighter side, like the 16-ounce piece from Cresent. “If you’re just doing things around the house, Crescent makes this great little hammer right here,” he added.

John Dye holding a hammer John Dye
John Dye holding a hammer John Dye

Dye told The Post that he also believes that homeowners must invest time in learning basic home repair techniques, either through online tutorials, workshops, or community classes.

“Owning the tools is just the beginning; knowing how to use them effectively ensures you can tackle home repairs confidently and safely,” he said.

In the comments section of his video, plenty of Dye’s followers weighed in with their reactions and advice for shopping for other home improvement tools.

One person recommended finding a set of wrenches sold individually, rather than in a pack because it can be “harder to turn in some places.”

“Need to talk about the lifetime warranty,” another follower suggested. “I think Husky has a few. Forget the other companies.”

Many of Dye’s fans wondered aloud why he had not included screwdrivers in his list of essentials and quickly demanded a part two for more recommendations.

Dye’s roundup of essential tools for homeowners

Dye shared his shopping list with the New York Post, pointing out that each of the tools he mentioned in his video can also be found on Amazon. The contractor also elaborated on the specific use cases for each tool with some added tips for homeowners.

Amazon Basics Folding Hex Key Set


“This seemingly simple tool is crucial for assembling and maintaining modern furniture and equipment,” said Dye.

He explained that many contemporary designs use hex bolts, and an Allen wrench set is required to tighten these when they loosen over time.

“While individual wrenches can be cumbersome to store and easy to lose, a compact fold-up set keeps all sizes handy and organized, making it a practical choice for the average homeowner,” he noted.

This value set includes three folding hex key sets with a combination of sizes, ideal for working on bicycles, motorcycles, vehicles, furniture, machinery, and more. Each key is made with durable chrome vanadium steel for rugged strength and finished with black oxide for rust resistance.

AMAZON $14.24

BengMxj Rechargeable LED Flashlight


“More than just a tool for power outages, a robust flashlight is essential for home maintenance tasks,” Dye told The Post.

He pointed out many scenarios where a flashlight could be useful — whether tracing the source of a leak under the sink, navigating through a dark attic, or ensuring security during an unexpected blackout. Dye recommended looking for water and impact-resistant models to ensure they can handle the rough and tumble of home repair work.

BengMxg’s military-grade rechargeable model offers a service life of up to 100,000 hours, with an advanced brightness of 990,000 lumens. Users can easily adjust the settings to choose between five light modes, including high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS.

AMAZON $35.99

Crescent Hammer Steel 16 Oz


A solid hammer is a cornerstone of any effective home toolkit, according to Dye.

“Beyond simple tasks like hanging pictures, a good hammer is indispensable for more demanding jobs such as removing door hinges or repairing parts of a wooden fence. Its versatility is unmatched,” he explained.

Dye advised picking a hammer with a comfortable grip and balanced weight to ensure it can be used with minimal strain: “For added versatility, consider a claw hammer, which allows you to not only drive nails but also remove them.”

Crescent’s 16-ounce hammer is engineered with an ergonomic grip to fit comfortably in your hand. The body is made with exceptionally dense Alloy steel, which delivers hard-hitting results with 70% less vibration.

AMAZON $29.97

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